Tagged: Cory Luebke

Major League Baseball Rookie Report: Alonso, Guerra, Luebke, Nunez and Cobb


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Yonder Alonso, OF, Reds

For some reason the Washington Nationals acquired Jonny Gomes this week.  They could not provide the Reds with a greater favor.  Without Gomes, who was barely batting above the Mendoza line, the Reds were able to bring up 24-year-old rookie Yonder Alonso.  The Havana, Cuba native was batting .296 with 12 home runs and 56 RBI.  The Reds would like to see him add more power, but he is a patient batter now joining a fine lineup. 


Javy Guerra, RP, Dodgers

A 26-year-old rookie with absolutely no fantasy expectations entering the season has turned into a fantasy steal.  Guerra is the closer for the Dodgers who has allowed just one run over his last 13 appearances.  On the season, Guerra is now 2-0 with eight saves and a 1.93 ERA.  Though he originally looked like a short-term option while Jonathan Broxton was on the DL, however, with Broxton taking an indefinite stay on the DL, it looks like Guerra will hold down the fort and may end up being the closer for next season. 


Cory Luebke, SP, Padres

At 26-years old Cory Luebke is making his case for the NL Rookie of the Year award.  There is no way he’ll earn it based on the Padres losing ways and his low profile city, but the Ohio State alumnus has been splendid with a 2.65 ERA and a sensational 0.91 WHIP.  Impressed by his stuff, the Padres have put the southpaw into the starting rotation and he has allowed just six earned runs through five starts.  His best outing came on July 16 when he limited the Giants to four hits and two runs through seven innings, clinching his third win of the season.  I guess we could have seen the success coming, as Luebke went 21-5 over the last two seasons in the Minor Leagues.


Eduardo Nunez, SS/3B, Yankees

One of the biggest surprise rookies this season has been Eduardo Sanchez.  Sure, we could have seen it coming considering the age of the Yankees infielders, but still the rookie has played at a high level with three home runs, 10 doubles, 14 steals, and a .273 average.  Nunez has earned himself a key role for the Yankees as he should be able to average 300 at bats the next few seasons before potentially taking over for Mr. Jeter at shortstop in 2014. 


Alex Cobb, SP, Rays

A fourth round pick by the Rays out of high school in 2006, Alex Cobb is another one of those top prospects developed in the team’s farm system.  He has been electric so far in spot-start duties, boasting a 3-0 record and 2.57 ERA in seven starts.  Cobb can still improve on his control, but with the opposition hitting just .220 off him this season, it’s clear that the Rays have struck gold yet again. 


Is Luebke Worth Keeping?

By R.J. Anderson //

Cory Luebke started this season on the bottom side of most top 10 prospect lists centered around the San Diego Padres. The former first round pick from Ohio State University will never awe onlookers. He throws lefty and – insert the jokes here – his velocity ranges from 87-91 miles per hour despite throwing from a 6’4″ frame aged 25 years. Two starts into his Major League career and Luebke is raising his stock along with eyebrows. In 11 innings, he’s struck out 10 while walking three. His ERA is a sparkling 3.27 and more than 10% of his pitches have resulted in whiffs. Optimism is running wild for the former Buckeye, but will it continue?

In order to predict success for new major leaguers, analysts will start at one of two places: minor league stats or scouting reports. Let’s start at the latter. Most call Luebke a back of the rotation starter. A fancy way of saying he’s a pitchability (think of Greg Maddux/Tom Glavine as the kings of the throne) type but lacks something — something usually meaning a great fastball or put-away pitch. If Luebke possessed dime velocity and penny command he’d probably have the tag, “Frontline potential”.

The stats are more kind, but support the backend suggestion. Luebke’s strikeout rates reek of modesty since reaching the upper minors (his strikeout rates straddled the line between six and seven per nine innings pitched throughout) His walks per nine innings rates were fine — sitting below three — albeit a necessity with the rest of his skill set, and his ability to get groundballs is admirable. Most people’s problem with Luebke will be multi-layered. First, can he sustain success with his arsenal against the best hitters in the world; and next, how will he get right-handed batters out? Lastly, how does four-eyed vision really work?


The early signs are positive but unfulfilling in their infancy. Luebke stands to benefit from an elite defense playing within a pitchers’ paradise. San Diego is the place to be; a place where someone with Luebke’s stuff can become more than a backend starter or an afterthought thanks to the environment. The phrase product of the environment can reign true and may. That’s why Luebke is interesting for the 2010 season, but not a must keep. Not yet at least.

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